Teach English Abroad: Enjoy Traveling and Seeing the World!
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FAQs for Living and Working Overseas:

Written by a former Peace Corps Volunteer living overseas since 1989

The Expat Guy: FAQs for Working and Living Overseas

What if I am a vegetarian or have special dietary wants and/or needs?

Will I go hungry?

This is something you had better ask on the discussion boards about - specifically for the area where you would like to live. (see the jobs and resources page) 

If you are creative, generally no problem.  But some countries, particularly in Africa and in Central and South America, are big meat eaters.  In the Buddhist countries of Asia it is much easier to find vegetarian fare.

Veggie Markets

One common characteristic of the second or third world is the presence of a daily market.  Vegetarians will find these very useful as this is where you can find your daily supplies.  It is generally not difficult to find soy or tofu or other things to provide the daily protein that you will want/need.

Health Issues

Know that many countries still fertilize their crops with "night soil" - the polite term for human waste (feces).  Cleaning your vegetables well will usually require the use of a disinfectant.  But, such disinfectants are often easily found and inexpensive, you will only need to ask.  Know also that hepatitis A, B, and C are very common in many parts of the world.  So it is worth taking care with this issue.


As a vegetarian, you may be better off heading to Asia.  It is not difficult or uncommon to ask for meat dishes to be made with only vegetables, and even some meat eaters do that if they are not sure of the quality or source of meat that might be involved.   Most restaurants in Thailand, for example, have no problems with such requests.

Strict Vegetarians

Vegans will certainly have more difficulty than ovo-lacto vegetarians.  Fresh milk and eggs are easily found almost everywhere in the world.

Special Dietary Needs

For religious diets search the Web for your denomination in the country you are interested in and contact them.  For diets designed for health problems - as on the other health pages - contact the international hospital in the area where you hoping to go and ask.  It is also useful to ask on the local discussion boards.



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